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Can You Just… Leave Debt Alone?

By: Michael Millington


There are instances where you simply just want to disappear. Even though you can’t wish away your problems most of the time, when it comes to debt it can almost become a way out for those who have no way of paying their debts off. With credit debt, the due date rotates with each month, leaving you time to make a payment. However, should you fail to make payments on your debts you might start to wonder what the long term consequences are. In the long term the debt will create more problems than if you paid it off (like debt collection or wage garnishment).

Recently, there has been a rising trend during the last decade in regards to debt. The last few years has seen debt rise, however there hasn’t been an equal rise in ramifications for having said debt. The thing that people don’t know about is how they can get around paying off debts by waiting them out.This might seem like a bad idea at first, but it can be rewarding.

Most (if not all) states and areas in the nation offer what is called a statute of limitation. It gives you a time limit on a collector’s ability to collect on a debt. If a debt goes past the statute of limitations you will no longer be legally responsible for paying it off. In some instances a debt collector will continue to attempt debt collection, even after the statute of limitation has passed. Since there isn’t an official notification for when a debt is no longer owed due to the statute passing, you must stay vigilant to know whether you still are legally obligated to make payments.

This leads to the question of whether simply leaving your debt alone would be the best way to go. If you have no way to pay off your debt, this can sound like a dream come true. The only thing about this method of debt relief method is that it takes too long. In the time it takes to wait for a debt to be taken care of through a statute of limitations, you could just as easily take care of the debt yourself. In many cases the statute of limitations lasts anywhere from five to 10 years. Within this amount of time debt collectors and creditors can take action against you to collect on your debts. This can include harassing phone calls, court orders and even wage garnishments. This can also lead to your downfall when it comes to credit.

So what would be the best course of action? That depends on what your financial capabilities. If you can pay (even if you stretch yourself thin) then you should try to make them. If you truly cannot make proper payments on your debts (and they would put you into extreme hardship if you did) then you might not have another choice but to wait out the situation until the statute is up. Adopting a wait and see attitude can be stressful, but if you can hold out it might bear fruit when all is said and done.

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